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Employing around 300 graduate students every year as well as numerous interns, Goldman Sachs is one of the best places prospective investment bankers want to go. As a well known name in investment banking, competition for student positions can be fierce. However with solid preparation and foreknowledge of the recruitment process, you strengthen your chances for success. The following page outlines the application process intended for graduates, but internship candidates can also expect a similar process.

The Goldman Sachs Online Application

The online application has several opportunities to make a great impression. You are asked to provide your basic details, academic and work history. Goldman Sachs likes employees with language skills so make sure to highlight those if you have.

Apart from the basic application, there is a second section which asks you to detail your leadership experience and a third where you can include a motivational letter.

Leadership Experience - In this section you need to answer questions about your previous experience. Example questions include how did your leadership contribute to the team’s success and questions about what, why and how you led. Think of real life examples you might have from work or school. Even experience on a sports team can be useful. Structure your answers in this section using the STAR method and keep the Goldman Sachs competencies in mind.

Motivations for Applying Letter - On other applications, this section is referred to as a cover letter. Goldman Sachs calls it a motivations for applying letter because they want your letter to be focused. Think about your reasons for applying specifically to Goldman Sachs. What about the company stands out as unique to you? Give reasons and evidence to your answers as well as mention qualities you can bring to the business. Make sure to link your answers to the position for which you’re applying.

The Goldman Sachs Competencies 


Problem Solving Creativity
Honesty and Integrity Personal Initiatives
High Standards of Excellence Client Service

Goldman Sachs First Interview

The first interview you have with Goldman Sachs will be different from the later interviews. This first interview is 30 minutes long and your interviewer is a senior manager from the department for which you are applying. The interview is competency-based, which focuses on your past experiences, achievements and whether or not you are a cultural fit for Goldman Sachs. You should also be prepared for industry-specific questions. Give yourself a boost with our interview preparation package.

Some sample interview questions include: 

  • What do you know about Goldman Sachs?
  • Why have you applied to work for us, and for the particular programme?
  • Why are you the best person for the job?
  • What are our main products and services?
  • What do you understand about the role Goldman Sachs plays in this industry?
  • Who are our competitors? What are the differences between them and us?
  • What are the biggest issues facing our industry?
  • Who are our clients?

The Goldman Sachs Aptitude Tests

The Goldman Sachs aptitude tests are taken following the first interview. There is a numerical and verbal test given to all candidates whilst technical candidates also face a technical test. These tests are a mix of CEB’s SHL and Goldman Sachs’ own.

Goldman Sachs Numerical Reasoning Test

The Goldman Sachs numerical test is a 20 minute test with 20 questions. This is a written assessment and you are provided with paper and a pen but you will not be allowed to use a calculator. Unlike the other aptitude tests, the numerical test is written by Goldman Sachs and not SHL. You can expect to see questions dealing with percentages, fractions and decimals. Sharpen your mental maths skills with our numerical reasoning practice tests.

Goldman Sachs Verbal Reasoning Test

The Goldman Sachs verbal test is also a 20 minute written test. You are given a short text to read and then given a statement related to the text. You must decide if the statement is ‘true/false/cannot say’ based on the text. Due to the time limitations, you need to be able to work quickly and efficiently. The best way to sharpen your skills is by taking practice verbal reasoning tests. You can use the free verbal reasoning test provided by JobTestPrep to get an introduction into this assessment style.

The Goldman Sachs Technical Test

For the technical roles at Goldman Sachs, you will be asked to take a written technical assessment.This test is computer code-based and you are given 1 hour and 20 minutes to answer numerous coding questions. There are questions in C++, SQL, and possibly C# and Java as well. It is important to try and clear your head for such questions as in time pressured situations you can find yourself making careless mistakes. Make sure that you are fully up to date with practising such situations and working under pressure.

Following a successful interview and aptitude assessment, you will be invited to the Goldman Sachs second stage interviews.

Goldman Sachs, CEB, SHL, and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website. Our materials are designed to help you prepare for the types of assessments you will encounter, but they are not identical to them.


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